April 3, 2008

Dear Mr. Chairman:
In an article by David Biello in the March 28, 2008 issue of Scientific American, Lady Barbara
Thomas Judge, chair of the U.K. Atomic Energy Commission is quoted as follows regarding the
licensing of three proposed U.S. nuclear reactors:
“Dale Klein told me that those three nuclear applications will be approved,” she told the
State of the Planet conference at Columbia University.

Is her characterization of your comments accurate? In other words, have you already made up
your mind to approve these applications months, perhaps years, ahead of completion of your
staff’s reviews and the ITAAC testing/verification process? And are you communicating that
decision to high-level officials in the international nuclear community?

If Lady Judge’s remarks are accurate, I call on you to recuse yourself from any and all decisions
regarding new reactor applications. As you should know, the decision-making is supposed to
come at the end of the staff’s reviews, the testing and all the attendant steps designed to provide
reasonable assurance that the reactors are designed, built, and will be operated in conformance
with federal safety regulations. Announcing your decision at the beginning of that process
seriously undermines the creditability of those steps. It does a tremendous disservice to your
staff’s pending efforts as well as to the American public who expect a fair and unbiased head of
the regulatory agency..

I truly regret calling for your recusal, if the remarks are accurate. I have never called for such a
step, or signed on to any one else’s call, in my professional career. But making a mockery of the
licensing process, as Lady Judge’s comments suggest you have done, goes beyond the pale and
warrants more than an apology or clarification. If the statement is true and you decline to recuse
yourself, our next step is to request that Congress look into the corruption of the integrity of the
licensing process for new reactors, since American tax dollars are on the line.

If Lady Judge’s statement is not true, you have the responsibility to publicly set the record
straight in order to restore credibility to the process, and to correct Lady Judge’s
misunderstanding, so that she does not continue to misrepresent your position. The licensing
process for nuclear reactors is much too important to allow the potential influence of public
statements about the views of the highest level nuclear official in advance of the process that is
stipulated by law.

David Lochbaum
Director, Nuclear Safety Project